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Interpol issues arrest warrant for fake passport hit team

'Assassins' used forged old-school documents, says FCO

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International police agency Interpol has out put stop and detain notices for 11 suspects reckoned to have used fake passports to enter the UAE before taking part in the murder of Hamas commander Mahmoud al-Mabhouh in Dubai last month.

The development came as UK officials said that a preliminary investigation showed that six forged British passports used in the hit were all older-style travel documents without biometric chips.

Interpol said it had "reason to believe that the suspects linked to this murder have stolen the identities of real people". It says it is publishing the (false) names and pictures of suspects as fraudulently used on the passports in" order to limit the ability of accused murderers from travelling freely using the same false passports".

Interpol has also issued (stop and detain) red notices against the suspects, following a request by police in Dubai, in order to help determine the true identity of the alleged perpetrators of Al-Mabhouh’s assassination.

“Based on close co-operation among our member countries and on information provided by innocent citizens, it is becoming clear that those who carefully planned and carried out the murder of Mahmoud al-Mabhouh most likely used forged or fake European passports of innocent citizens whose identities were stolen,” said Interpol Secretary General Ronald K. Noble, in a statement.

The suspects in the assassination used six British and three Irish passports while two others used French and German travel documents, all of which are believed to be forgeries. Among those those identities were stolen are Melvyn Mildiner, an Israel-resident British IT worker. The names of other men with dual British and Israeli citizenship were used as aliases in fake passports used by the alleged assassins.

The Foreign Office has launched an investigation into the misuse of British passports, which is being handled by SOCA. Officials on Friday denied reports in the Daily Mail that MI6 and the government had received a tip-off about the planned operation.

The misuse of British and other European passports has raised questions about whether forged biometric passports were used in the attack or whether security screening shortcomings at Dubai airport were exploited.

However a Foreign Office spokesman told El Reg that it has already been established that all the suspect passports were forgeries of older passports without biometric chips.

Israeli ambassadors to both the UK and Ireland were called in to hear diplomatic protests on Thursday. Israel has a history of using fake travel documents in assassination attempts and a record of not commenting to either confirm on deny involvement in such hits, a line which it is sticking to in this case. ®

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